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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 April, 2014

The world’s worst places to be a woman – survey

Global survey releases findings which show that Afghanistan is the most dangerous place for women, while the DRC comes a close second.

Image: PIER PAOLO CITO/AP/Press Association Images

A NEW GLOBAL survey has said that Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world for women due to poor healthcare, extreme poverty and the risk of violence.

Eighty-seven per cent of women in Afghanistan are illiterate while women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, according to research cited by the survey organisers.

All of the poll’s respondents cited domestic rape as a factor in assessing the dangers facing women in Afghanistan. Eighty-two per cent said domestic physical and mental abuse was also a factor.

The second most dangerous place listed is the Democratic Republic of Congo, where over 400,000 women are reported to be raped each year. Women in the DRC are not entitled to sign legal documents without their husband’s permission.

The DRC was followed on the list by Pakistan, where over 1,000 women and girls are the victims of honour killings every year.

India came fourth and Somalia fifth.

The survey was carried out by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to launch a new section of the TrustLaw legal news website which will provide news and information on women’s legal rights. The survey involved 213 gender experts from around the world, who were asked to rank countries according to issues including sexual violence, lack of access to resources and health threats.

Somalia’s women’s minister has expressed her shock at finding out her country was not ranked first in the list, but fifth. Reuters reports that Maryan Qasim said the most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia could do was become pregnant and described the country as a “living hell” for women trying to feed their children.

Qasim cited the dangers of being raped and shot, poor access to education and healthcare, and female genital mutilation as reasons Somalia was a dangerous place for women.

Read the Thomson Reuters Foundation global poll in full >

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